News

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Economists and financial forecasters, speaking at the state Capitol Thursday as part of an annual consensus forecast meeting on the state budget, are warning of an impending recession in New York and the nation. The state is already experiencing some warning signs, with the governor’s budget office predicting a $2.6 billion deficit.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Next week, the Onondaga County Legislature will vote on requesting Amazon to consider a location in the town of Clay for its new headquarters, after the company pulled out of its project in Long Island City. But a meeting took a political turn as legislators debated the merits of such a request.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

It’s a busy time at the state Capitol, with just over one month to go until the state budget is due. Groups are bringing advocates by the hundreds to try to get their favored items placed into the spending plan. Meanwhile, there are lingering recriminations over the failed Amazon deal.   

Among the groups vying for attention at a crowded state Capitol, are advocates for public campaign financing.

Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell for Syracuse 3rd District Councilor Facebook

The Syracuse Common Council appointed Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell this week to replace Councilor Susan Boyle, after Boyle stepped down to work for Onondaga County. But the council’s only Republican continues to take issue with the process leading to Lovejoy-Grinnell’s appointment.

Councilor Joe Carni said it’s not a question of Lovejoy-Grinnell’s character, as to why he voted against her appointment.

“I did not agree with the process,” Carni said. “I think it became overly political and did not allow for members of other parties to participate in the process.”

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, is testifying on Capitol Hill at 10 a.m. today. Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison, to begin in May. He pleaded guilty last year to charges of campaign finance violations and other charges related to his work for Trump.

Adam Nadel

A New York City theater company is bringing the voices of a minority to central New York this week. “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” shares the day-to-day experiences of five young Muslim Americans. Their stories are told on stage -- not by actors -- but by the storytellers themselves.

As performer Maha Syed explains, the call for cast members occurred on a community level.

“The call was really for people who somehow identify with the Muslim community and like to tell stories,” she said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

Public transportation advocates in central New York are calling on state budget makers to put more money in this year’s spending plan for bus systems across upstate.

Centro, Syracuse’s bus company, has only had 2 percent increases the past few years from Albany. And even with a proposed 5 percent increase this year, transportation advocate Sharon Sherman said more is needed to properly serve the people who need to ride the bus. And that is no more apparent in Syracuse, a city with sky high poverty rates.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Poverty, infrastructure and economic development was the agenda Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon laid out during his first State of the County address Tuesday night. McMahon emphasized his accomplishments so far, like signing a new sales tax agreement with the city of Syracuse, and outlined his vision for the future.

governorandrewcuomo / flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new anti-gun violence measure into law Monday, at a ceremony attended by survivors of gun violence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The measure, approved by the Democratic-led Senate and Assembly earlier this month, creates what’s known as an "extreme risk" protection order. It permits law enforcement, family members and school officials to go to court to seek the confiscation of the guns in the home of an individual that is determined to be a potential risk to themselves or to others.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Updated at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

The House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday evening to block President Trump's national emergency declaration. 13 Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the resolution. One of them was North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville). In a statement, Stefanik said "While I continue to be a strong supporter of securing our border, I believe the President declaring a national emergency that will take funding from our country’s military construction projects is the wrong decision. For this reason, I voted in support of today’s resolution disapproving of the national emergency with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle."

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) was unable to be in Washington for the vote due to the death of his father on Sunday. In a statement, he said he supports the resolution. 

"I strongly believe we must act to strengthen our nation’s border security," Katko said. "But Republicans and Democrats in Congress need to come together as legislators to implement these types of policies. Presidents, from either party, should not legislate from the executive branch.  Doing so dangerously expands the authority of the office and sets poor precedent."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media File Photo

Onondaga County wants to get rid of a rule that lets certain sheriff’s deputies get the bulk of overtime at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

Officials stress the guards at the jail aren’t doing anything wrong. But some can double or triple their pay by signing up for overtime. The way they do that is through a rule County Executive Ryan McMahon called archaic.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A central New York business group is bringing some new compromises to the table as the region waits for a state report that could determine the future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News (file photo)

According to the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board, Lake Ontario is more than a foot higher than usual for this time of year.

Keith Koralewski with the Army Corps of Engineers said, we're not alone. "Most of the Great Lakes are currently above average," he said.

But, he said there's no way to tell yet if we'll see a repeat of the 2017 floods along the south shore of the lake, which caused property damage and loss of homes and businesses. He says the current levels are largely due to heavy precipitation, which could change over the next few months.

Syracuse University / cuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — When it was over and the last of the deafening cheers of the record Carrier Dome crowd had stopped, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim forgot about basketball for a poignant moment.

Three nights earlier, the 74-year-old Hall of Fame coach had been involved in an accident that took the life of 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez, and that was foremost on his mind. Talking about a tough 75-65 loss to top-ranked Duke on Saturday night would have to wait.

WRVO Public Media

Blueprint 15 is an ambitious new project to reconstruct the neighborhood in Syracuse surrounding I-81, in order to combat poverty and reinvigorate the area. Several key stakeholders are beginning the process of giving more shape to the idea. This week, Grant Reeher talks with the leaders of two of those organizations. Bill Simmons is Executive Director of the Syracuse Housing Authority, and Meg O'Connell, Executive Director of the Allyn Family Foundation

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Several hundred people turned out Thursday for the last of a series of hearings about the future of Interstate 81 through Syracuse held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). The forum was held at Fowler High School, just a few miles from the elevated portion of the highway, which has reached the end of its useful lifespan. 

Matt Ryan / New York Now (file photo)

A recent legislative hearing on sexual harassment in state government focused in part on the role of the state’s ethics commission in investigating charges of alleged abuse.

And according to those who testified, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, was insensitive, secretive and not sufficiently independent from politics.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Law enforcement officials are describing a deadly car accident involving Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim as a horrible, sad tragedy. Boeheim hit and killed a man who was fleeing a disabled vehicle on Interstate 690 in Syracuse.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Updated at 12:30 p.m. Thursday

Syracuse police say Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a man while driving on Interstate 690 East near Thompson Road late Wednesday. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Local law enforcement agencies are hoping Congress passes legislation that would allow funding for some cutting edge technology that identifies lethal illicit drugs like fentanyl. 

New York State Senate

A week after the Amazon deal in Queens died, New York lawmakers want states to agree to stop using taxpayer money to lure big businesses.

The legislators are proposing a measure that would form an interstate compact to end what they call excessive “corporate welfare” for large companies.

Among the sponsors is Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, a leading opponent of the Amazon deal. It would have located part of a second headquarters for the giant online retailer in his district, in exchange for $3 billion in government subsidies.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

As Democrats in Onondaga County put together their petitions to collect signatures for candidates, the party still has yet to find a designated challenger to Republican County Executive Ryan McMahon. He was appointed by the legislature last year following former County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s departure. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The dispute between the state and local governments over revenue sharing funds called Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) continues. Local governments aren’t satisfied with the latest proposed compromise from the Cuomo administration.

Local governments are pleased that the governor’s office realizes how much local governments rely on AIM funding.

"What we’re not pleased about is the way it is proposed to be restored. The proposal would basically take from our county taxpayers right pocket, instead of their left pocket," said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says changes to the federal tax code led to a growing state deficit and is causing some high-income earners to leave the state. But progressive groups, some Democratic state legislators and even some millionaires are pushing back against that assertion, saying there’s no hard evidence that any wealthy New Yorkers are leaving.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Central New York nonprofits, focused on human services, are calling for $100 million in funding for nonprofit infrastructure improvements, to be included in New York State’s budget. Some nonprofits are faced with the challenges of being located in older buildings.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget will change the way the individuals with disabilities on Medicaid manage their aides, which has advocates upset.

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, also known as CDPAP, lets New Yorkers who qualify for Medicaid benefits hire their own aides and manage their schedule. Sally Johnston, president of Disabled in Action of Greater Syracuse, said it has been an important way to keep people with disabilities independent.

Credit SUNY Polytechnic

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants the Mohawk Valley to be at the center of one of the next big things in the world of technology: quantum computing. And researchers at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Rome Labs are already working on it.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter said she’s supporting the community grid option for replacing the elevated portion of Interstate 81 that cuts through downtown Syracuse. Her decision comes as a long-awaited environmental impact statement from the state is expected soon.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The village of Sackets Harbor is losing one of the only stores where residents could get groceries, and its owner is blaming the opening of a nearby Dollar General as one of the reasons for its closing. Residents are divided between wanting to support local businesses and keep a small town charm, with the convenience and lower prices big corporations can offer.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

The city of Syracuse is hoping the state can come through with $12 million to help ensure the cleanliness of drinking water from Skaneateles Lake.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said the money would fund the extension of a water intake pipe deeper and further into Skaneateles Lake. There are a few reasons Walsh said this is necessary.

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